Unexpectedly for Taihape the breakfast was as good as the previous nights dinner, this time "Eggs Florentine". Seems Cafe Exchange is in the old Phone Exchange. I was even able to use my newly acquired toothbrush and toothpaste in their very clean toilet (yes I'd forgotten mine)
With my early start I had plenty of time to work out a plan for the day. First Gravity Canyon (Gravity Canon as Garmin call it) sounded interesting. I'd also seen in the local rag over breakfast that the Airforce Museum at Ohakea is to close. I'd seen it with my parents when the came out in 1976 (ish?) so it had to be on the agenda.
Although the paper and Metservice both predicted intermittent showers, word from the north was that the wet weather was working in from the west. It seemed prudent to detour through the Manawatu Gorge and head down through Masterton, it would also make for a more interesting ride I thought.
Gravity Canyon was a surprise, much larger and more sohisticated than I'd expected (I have no idea what I had expected). On arrival the place was groaning with old people (ok my age and older) and their old and ancient automobiles. Two of the old fools were having a go on a flying fox across the canyon and the rest having coffee and watching. Not tempted by the drops (gag) I took a look around the cars and made off.
There is a great sadness in places like the Air Force Museum especially when they are about to close. I walked around (this time with a bus load of old people, many of whom seemed to have personal recollections of the last war). There was an excellent video of the history of the Air Force, if I was truthful it was also nice to sit on a comfy chair for 30 mins while I watched it. Now there is so little left of the RNZAF surely the museum should be the last to go?
After the movie I was thinking about a light lunch but stepping into the cafe where there were windows I could see the raindrops on the old people outside. A hurried departure was indicated to outrun the front. Luckily the weather was a little warmer than the previous day, doubtless because of the rain, and the trees are turning gold and the countryside is looking perfect. Several spells of light rain as we moved south, nothing too bad but the greasy roads are very frightening
Somehow I missed the gorge and went over the hills, a fabulous ride though with increasingly low cloud, not an aviating day. Another coffee at Masterton, this time with yet another oldie who was humming "Here comes Muffin the Mule, Muffin the Mule" much to the embarrassment of his wife. I didn't know there was anyone else who remembered Muffin.He says they are remaking it. Groan!
Finally over the Rimataka Hill on greasy roads with heavy traffic, not a highlight. The Quest on Terrace were ready for me, and I ready for them, and had a carpark out back. Locked the bike up and off for a drink and dinner with an old friend .